Photo: Porta Luz

Husband Talks About Next Blessed: Chiara Corbella. “I’m Learning to Be the Husband of a Future Saint”

“Many women ask my wife for help because they feel accepted and not judged by her,” declared Enrico Petrillo after concluding the diocesan phase of the beatification process of Chiara Corbella.

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(ZENIT News – Porta Luz / Rome, 03.07.2014).- Chiara Corbella died on June 3, 2012. After losing two children, the 28-year-old Italian woman rejected chemotherapy to not harm the new child she was carrying in her womb. They gave her twelve months to live alongside her son Francesco. In letters to her son she wrote: “ God will show you the way if you open your heart to Him. Trust in Him.”

Already at her funeral, she was acclaimed as a holy mother by the faithful. Her process of Beatification began six years later. After the diocesan phase, the documents were sent to the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints. During the closing ceremony of the first phase of the process, Monsignor Baldo Reina, Vice-Regent of the diocese of Rome,       to which Chiara Corbella belonged, pointed out that people from the farthest corners of the world were praying for her Cause. “Believers see in Chiara a friend of God, an eloquent witness of faith, a travel companion on the path of their lives, a sister that intercedes before God in many needs, obtaining from the Lord the gift of faith, of conversion and of consolation.”

Enrico Petrillo, Husband of the Future Saint

During the closing of the process, held in the Basilica of Saint John Lateran on June 21, Enrico Petrillo said that his wife’s life enabled him to know God happily and sweetly. In statements to the Italian edition of “Vatican News,” he underscored that he was still learning to be the husband of a future Saint.

He added that, looking at the sealed boxes of the documentation, which related the beautiful life of his wife, he thought that the Church keeps precious things wisely. “I thought that what I had to do, I did: I told the Church all that I thought, all that I lived,” said the future Blessed’s husband.

Asked about how he would describe his wife’s holiness twelve years after her death, Enrico Petrillo answered: “I think of her as I did years ago. Chiara is a daughter of God who let herself be loved and today is able to illumine our path, which is simple, but is certainly not easy. She points out a path that is also available to us. I’m moved by the fact that all feel so close to her. She wasn’t a woman that did extraordinary things, as a superheroine. What is extraordinary is that with simplicity she accepted what the King of history decided to write for her. She accepted it and became a great tree under which to find refuge.”

The future Blessed’s husband added that the fact that many people now pray for Chiara’s Cause, doesn’t take anything away from him: “I feel she continues to be mine, and the fact that she gets close to others doesn’t take away from me what is and will be mine for ever. Love multiplies, it doesn’t divide.”

Francesco, 13, Son of a Blessed Mother

On June 21, during the closing of Chiara Corbella’s Beatification process, Francesco, the 13-year-old son for whom she gave her life, was sitting next to his father. His face showed emotion and excitement, and the cameras showed him repeatedly squeezing hard his father’s hand.

Enrico Petrillo confessed that, in the course of the years, he had talked many times with his son about life, the options, and the holiness of his mother. When they were travelling to the closing ceremony of the judgment, he asked Francesco if he understood what was going to happen and his son answered not entirely. “He has a whole life ahead of him to understand, to reflect further on the things that affect him personally. That’s why I try not to overwhelm him too much. If he asks, I answer him, if he doesn’t ask, it doesn’t matter,” said the adolescent’s father.

For his part, Enrico confides that his and Chiara’s story is one of marital sanctity. “I don’t know why the good God decided that I continue here, but I know that I have experienced many graces with her, so her experience is also mine and I’m very happy for it,” he added.

Chiara’s Embrace of Mothers That Abort

Among the numerous testimonies of Chiara’s action in people’s life and the graces received through her intercession, Enrico mentioned the numerous conversions as the most important. “There are many reports of physical cures, each of which must be verified by a Scientific Commission. Conversion is something more difficult, because God respects our freedom. Hence, in my opinion, the loveliest testimony is to know that so many people return to the faith, that so many mothers are reconciled with their past, in which they did something evil. They don’t feel judged by Chiara, they feel she watches over them, that she understands them.”

Enrico Petrillo adds that many of them think that it’s Chiara’s love that embraces them. “In reality, it’s God who embraces Chiara, and Chiara lets herself be embraced by Him and she also embraces us with that love,” said the future Blessed’s husband.

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